Equality and Diversity

We represent a very diverse membership of over 9,300 people working as Emergency Medicine doctors, ACPs, and nurses.

George Floyd’s death by the hands of the police shook the world and triggered huge antiracism protests across the UK. These protests have centred around racial injustice and systemic racism, prompting difficult conversations about the nature of racism and the actions we can take to eliminate it.

As the pandemic continues, we are acutely aware that COVID-19 disproportionately affects our Black and Asian communities. We have been calling for greater safety for our colleagues in Emergency Departments and a commitment from the Government to implement recommendations from the Public Health England Review into ethnic minority disparities in risk and outcomes of COVID-19.

We know that people in the most senior positions in the NHS tend to be White and that Black, Asian, and minority ethnic staff have very different experiences of the NHS as a workplace.

We live in an inherently racist society. The NHS as an institution is not immune, and neither are we as a medical royal college. We pledge to act to dismantle structural racism. We are committed to supporting our Black, Asian and minority ethnic members and we have started a process of listening and learning about racial inequalities in the NHS. We are also very aware of the issue around the use of the BAME label – we will ensure any institutional use of this label does not mask disparities between ethnic minority groups.

We welcomed Dr Anu Mitra and Dr Chris Odedun at our clinical leads meeting last week. They shared an important and powerful presentation about the Black Lives Matter movement and structural racism in the NHS. You can view it below.

Our President, Dr Katherine Henderson and CEO, Gordon Miles, have said: “As far as this College and the specialty of emergency medicine are concerned there is no room for complacency, as leaders it is our responsibility to do better. We are committed to ensuring that this College is doing everything it can to eradicate racism and structural inequalities Additionally, we are reviewing our entire approach to Equality and Diversity and are generating fresh plans for this, which we will share as they are developed.”